This is Bo, she is head designer and founder behind her namesake label Bo Carter
We sat down with her to talk about the way they produce in the UK, England, and also about how they use one particular raw material. The fashion industry is renowned for the excess it creates. To combat this Bo Carter buy unused ‘roll end’ fabric from larger fashion brands in order to consume excess within the fashion industry before it becomes waste.
Roll End Fabric as raw material
JF: Hi Bo, we are curious to know, what is Roll End Fabric? Bo: Roll end Fabric is larger or smaller leftovers from the conventional fashion industry, considered to be waste, as they are from previous collections.
JF: How did you come up with the idea to use this type of material? Bo: We don’t follow trends and we love taking advantage of fabric that would go to waste only because they are not ‘in the season’ anymore. That’s just pointless.
JF: That’s so true, and it is all about the context, isn’t it? So how do you choose your roll, and how does it affect your collections? Bo: We ‘rescue’ whatever is available at any particular time. We don’t always use them straight away, and sometimes they are saved for years before they fit into our collection. But they are always used, and nothing is thrown away.
JF: So, what is the impact you have when you choose to use this type of source for a product? Bo: We save fully usable fabric from gong to landfills, and by that making a positive difference to our planet.
Bo Carter uses whatever fabric is left on the rolls until it runs out. Consequently, they typically make less than 30 pieces in each style. Due to this limited production method their roll end garments are very exclusive and can’t be repeated. Every piece is produced locally in the UK. Bo Carter is morally opposed to sweatshop manufacturing and the exploitation of cheap labour. Instead they commit to supporting local businesses and helping to rebuild the UK textile industry. By keeping production close to home, they can ensure high ethical standards are upheld throughout the supply chain and keep their carbon footprint as small as possible.
This is Fretex’s main reception for collected used items in Oslo.
Fretex is a Second-Hand chain and a social enterprise established by the Norwegian Salvation Army. They are the main recipient of used materials from Oslo’s inhabitants.
So this is a quite chaotic place, and not at all luxurious. Every day, stuff that people don’t want anymore rolls down the lane and gets sorted. A lot is also discarded and considered to be waste.
Upcycled fabric as raw material
This spring we initiated a collaboration with Fretex, to take some of these discarded materials and elevate them into new high quality products.
We started out talking with the designer we considered to be the right one for the project, and through a collaborative and long process with her, a product was developed.
Designer Eline Dragesund and Marte presented the idea for Fretex, and it was well received. Our overall goal will also be to try to establish a permanent sewing studio at Tøyen in Oslo, where we can do both training and give work to people who do not get to use their tailoring skills today.
At the assembly line
Even though designer Eline may stand for hours and hours to find the right fabric for the project, both destroyed enough to be considered waste, and high quality enough to get a second life, we’ve faked it a bit so that you can get a feeling of how it is at the facility
JF: So Eline, what does This project mean to you? Eline: For me as a newly educated fashion designer from The National Academy of the Arts, it is a great honour to be able to collaborate with a company on this level. It is a springboard for me as well, and to be able to take local resources in use, like we do here, and make them into beautiful products, is just huge.
We collect resources from a sorting facility and elevate them and lift them into a luxury setting. It is modern alchemy. Marte is also really nice to collaborate with. The collaboration with Fretex has gone beyond expectations, even though they are really busy and have a lot to keep track of. Both JF Curated and I, we are so thankful and proud of the time and trust they’ve given to this collaboration.
After Eline has found the fabric it is taken to her studio or delivered to one of the tailors connected to the project, and the process of making it into a new and shiny product starts.
JF: So how did this project come to life from your side? Fretex: Well, Marte and Eline attended an early morning meeting at Fretex Alnabru with an idea and sketches. They were engaging and as Fretex don’t have their own redesign department now, we felt it was a great time for a collaboration. For us it is important that the upcycling happens in accordance with the resource-pyramid, which implies that if a fabric can be used in its original form or current state when delivered to us, it should continue its life in that state. When it is not possible to sell in current state, if it is destroyed, e.g. , we are open for upcycling these fabrics into new ones.
JF: Why did you support this collaboration? Fretex: When it comes to a project like this, one that aim to give people work and create added value to the material, we see it completely as a win. If these fabrics were not to be used here, they would be exported out of the country and be ground into small pieces. Every little thing that can stimulate people into new thinking and reuse is our focus!
JF: So what does this collaboration with JF mean to you guys? Fretex: It means a lot, since we get to collaborate and be seen in arenas that we normally don’t. Both from an environmental and a social perspective. And we love that this project, both aims to build something that will give people work, and wants to prolong the lives of all these fabrics that would otherwise be destroyed. Somebody is going to love it and cherish it and that is a great thing. It is also a great way to use local resources. Fretex wants to give new opportunities for the used items that we receive and for people, and this project does both.
Last, but not least, JF Curated and Fretex have a common ground in our values. It is therefore a good way for us to be able to trust that our values are continued and passed on in this project.
We sat down to talk with Elsien about the team’s journey, and to talk a bit about the way she does her pattern construction.
Reducing waste in Pattern Construction
JF: Hi Elsien, we are wondering, what is a waste reducing pattern construction? Elsien: It is a way of placing the pattern, so that you take the width of the garment and the placement of the pieces into acount, to make as little waste as possible. It can also start at the point where you plan the construction of your garment, and in some cases one can plan a product so that there are no waste alltogether.
JF: How did you come up with the idea to use this method in your production? Elsien: From the start of my brand I made a serie of garments where each pattern exist from only a square or rectangle, using the whole fabric width. I used it literally as a square, like for example the square top. But I also draped with it so it was not directly recognizable as a square or rectangle. Furthermore I made a series for the Woolmark prize, I was nominated for in 2014, and made a line only existing from the most elementary shapes, like a circle, triangle and square. All these patterns fitted into each other so there was only a minimum of waste.
JF: How does it affect your collections to choose this way of designing? Elsien: In total I have made two series with zero waste principle, and for me it is really about the puzzle, how can I make a fashionable collection without any waste. It made me very aware of how much fabrics got lost with the usual cutting.
When I started to work on this zero waste collection, I also wanted to reduce as many seams as possible because in the industry every seam, every handling costs energy and of course money. I also wanted to make this part as efficient as possible.
But sometimes less seams have consequences that it takes more fabric! So then the puzzle starts again. I work with my patterns to reduce waste, but only work zero waste for limited styles. And (almost) no seams is not always a solution for a zero waste pattern.
JF: What is the impact you have when you choose to work this way with products? Elsien: The consequence is that I design very consciously. I choose every design, every fabric, every handling very carefully and always with a strong focus on sustainability. Because we make everything ourselves and only local, I have a very strong connection with the clothes. Nothing leaves the studio without going trough my hands.
We are very keen on our environmental impact, so that’s why we buy our fabrics mainly in Europe. And always use every single piece of fabric, also the little pieces. And because we do not work with seasonal collections, we can use up the fabric until it’s out. And we work extremely efficient so there is almost not waste :)
Elsiens focus on highly innovative patterns, reduces the waste to the max. Another great factor with the way Elsien and her team work, is that instead of building seasonal collections, they are building chapters in books. These chapters are meant to fit together, and also books have a line of cohesiveness to tight then together. Every piece is also made on demand, not before you order it, which saves the environment from overproduction.
By producing locally in the Netherlands with skilled tailors at work, Elsien support and create work for a craftsmanship that in many ways is about to be forgotten. To choose this way of producing, gives economic growth to her community and all tailors get fair pay for their work.
“There are many campaigns regarding “responsible clothing”. And I think that is a good thing! Unfortunately little has changed yet. I still read too often that as soon as employees within third world production companies stand up to rebel against the bad working conditions, they are violently stopped by the entrepreneurs and they are dismissed or are ruthlessly put back to work. I would like to see, that workers receive a humane living wage, normal work hours, a safe work environment and no discrimination and sexual harassment against women. I am proud to work for Elsien and to be a part of her mission and her commitment to change the (fashion) world and to make durable sustainable clothing.
Enjoy the clothes you wear! It is made for you with love!”
Janet, Tailor Production in Elsien Gringhuis Studio
We sat down with Anna to get to know more about the way they’ve built their brand.
Merino wool and recycled cashmere as raw material
JF: Hi Anna, we are wondering, what is Recycled Cashmere? Anna: Recycled cashmere is a precious and earth-friendly yarn that is regenerated from industrial surplus of 100% pure cashmere. It is carefully selected and then mechanically transformed into woollen fibers. Then these fibers are blended with pure premium merino wool in a ratio 95-5 and spun again into this premium recycled cashmere.
I fell in love with the wonderful recycled cashmere at once. The way it close the loop is great. On average four goats are needed to be sheared to get enough yarn to knit one cashmere sweater. That makes this fiber not only precious but difficult to sustain on a large scale. So choosing recycled cashmere feels the most respectful option towards the planet.
JF: That’s brilliant use of surplus material! So how did you come up with the idea to use this type of material Anna: When we discovered that qualified Italian mill that developed a wonderful and pure recycled cashmere (95% recycled cashmere and 5% merino wool), things fell into place. We wanted to include it in a couple of our designs to get that exciting mix of tradition and innovation.
Cashmere is one of the world’s finest fiber. The demand of cashmere has not stopped growing, and grasslands of Mongolia (which exports one third of the world cashmere) are suffering from desertification because an overpopulation of goats. That’s why it is important to find new solutions.
JF: What about your other raw material, the merino wool, how do you work with the shepherds to collect it? Anna: At Lana Serena we buy all the merino wool yarn through the initiative Transhumance by Made in Slow. In Spain, transhumance is a centenarian practice that consists on moving the flock of sheep from the valley to the adjacent mountains in order to feed them with fresh grass the whole year around. This initiative is important because it agrees with local shepherds, and gives them a fair price for the wool. Thus encouraging them to keep this tradition. In Spring they collect the wool (fleece) and the whole process of the yarn is also made in Spain.
We wants to support shepherds and their flock of sheep and we also want to contribute to the preservation of Spanish rural traditions and cultural heritage. The goal of the initiative Transhumance by Made in Slow is to make sure the shepherds can make a living off the wool and by that encourage more shepherds to recover that centenarian practice. Traceability and transparency is crucial in our collaboration.
JF: What is the impact you have when you choose to use this type of source for a product? Anna: It was the summer of 2015 when I discovered that some Spanish shepherds were discarding the wool of their merino sheep. I researched on Spanish wool heritage and wool happened to be the purpose to start this project. By sourcing Spanish merino wool from transhumant flock of sheep, we are contributing to the protection of our cultural and natural heritage.
Sheep play an important role as part of the countryside’s biodiversity and also contribute to clean the underwood and thus preventing wildfires. By shearing, cleaning, spinning and knitting in Spain, we are helping to preserve the old professions associated to the wool trade and reduce the CO2 impact of the whole process.
The remaining shepherds practicing transhumance, comes from families who have been this for generations.
Transhumance means to follow the old traditions of seasonal migration of livestock, and the people who tend them, between lowlands and the adjacent mountains. Transhumance in Spain has been a key factor for the merino wool quality. The reason is that sheep who roam get better quality of grass and that turns into a better quality of their fleece.
Made in Slow is a platform, founded and directed by Alberto Díaz, whose mission is to preserve and recuperate Spanish cultural heritage at risk of disappearance.
Supporting Traditional Skills
Lana Serena’s merino wool comes from transhumant merino flock of sheep from Castilla y León and Extremadura (Spain). They migrate twice per year with their shepherds from the grasslands to the summer pastures up in the mountains using the centenarian Cañadas Reales or Royal routes.
“Lana Serena does not follow trends and seasons. We conceive our designs as timeless, and our quality is premium. We encourage you to wear them year after year because they will never seem out of date. We mostly produce made to order. And in the unlike possibility that a piece is discarded, you must know that pure wool is 100% biodegradable. It decomposes into the earth acting as a natural fertilizer”
The artisan pieces which are more avant-garde than the mainline are hand knitted by Artisan women from rural regions in Castilla and Leon. By that, Lana Serena also supports the recovery of centennial trades and the empowerment of women. Right now they are working with a group of 5 women who do the knitting the pieces. They decide over their jobs.
Their main line is manufactured in a family owned workshop near Barcelona. There is a long textile tradition in Catalonia that comes from the nineteenth century.
This is Hila, the woman behind Yoster Jewelry brand
Hila works with two main suppliers, the caster and the plater, and both are small family run businesses. The 3D printing is a growing part of the jewelry industry and this combination of new and old is a necessary part of the development of the craft. With this process you also leave no excess material behind, and it can save a lot of waste in the production process.
We had a talk with Hila about the way she’s been trying to implement 3D printing in her production process early on.
3D printing as production process
JF: Hi Hila, nice to have this talk with you! So, we are wondering, how does 3D printing of jewelry work? Hila: In the past few years, the jewelry industry has been transformed with the introduction of 3D-printers, which are capable of producing easily-castable, high detail parts. “3D printing jewelry” doesn’t mean directly producing end-use pieces of jewelry. In other words, jewelers don’t 3D print golden rings. Instead, we 3D print highly detailed wax models of the desired rings, which are later used to make molds, like the traditional of the disappearing wax technique.
And all Yoster’s pieces finishes are done by hand, so the evolution of the jewelry is quite interesting. Backwards form tech – to handmade! :)
JF: How did you come up with the idea to use this type of process? Hila: I studied 3D print during my BA degree in jewelry design. We studied the software for 2 semesters, and in the following semesters we had some projects that we must produce by 3d printing. To be honest I was one of the worst in my class, I am not “a computer person” and this software is very complicated for me, though the benefit of it is amazing! Actually my ‘3D climber earring’ is the result of a class project in my 3th year degree (six years ago) – and it is the first 3d printing jewelry that I ever did, it was such a success and it goes with me ever since (it is funny I named it after it- but it is a reminder for when it all started)
JF: That’s so cool! How does it affect your collections to use this process? Hila: Yoster’s designs are accompanied by a sense of timeless objects that was found in nature which are delicately treated to make fine jewelry. When I start to work on a new model, I start by sculpting with wax, when I get to a point where i see i don’t get the result i wish, not precise enough or i see it is going to be very heavy, or just that I don’t have enough time to develop it, so I understand it should be by 3d printing. before i go to 3d printing i must have a wax model (to gain an appreciation of a form and structure), drawing and images of inspiration reference. So the result of it is by combination all of it. As i mentioned before that working on that software is not easy for me, so I have an amazing engineer digital technology modeler who I work with to help me build my designs. We sit together with the wax and drawing and building it up together.
JF: What is the impact you have when you choose to use this type of process for products? Hila: By 3d i have control on everything (weight, dimensions etc..) it allows me to express my creativity and imagination without limits.
I can see the exact result without spending 1gr of materiel. Yes, of course, it happened to me that after I printed I was not satisfied and then I print again, but as I have more and more experience with 3d it happens less.
In addition, manually crafting jewelry molds can be quite expensive, whereas 3D Printing is a quick manufacturing technique that also allows you to easily change the design of the digital model. Working with a 3D printed piece versus a wax piece takes a quarter of the time. It’s not just the time I saved, it is what else I’m able to do with that time that has been the biggest savings.
This is Giada and Margherita, the women behind UND Swimwear
We decided to sit down and have a talk with them about the way they do things behind the scenes, and to get to know a little bit more about their raw material, which is made from recycled plastic.
JF: Hi Giada and Margherita, thank you for sitting down with us! So, we are wondering, what is recycled Lycra? Giada&Margherita: The recycled Lycra we chose to craft our swimwear in, is an Italian sustainable techno fabric, made of a regenerated Nylon obtained by recycling plastic waste materials, like fishing nets recovered from our oceans. This incredible fabric, together with being sustainable, has high technical properties, such as 50+ UV protection and a bi-stretch extra comfort feel structure, which provides a perfect “silk glove” fit to our swimsuits.
JF: How did you come up with the idea to use this type of material? Giada&Margherita: We discovered this incredible fabric as we were looking for the most sustainable material we could find to craft our garments. Furthermore, this fabric is not just sustainable because of its composition, it is also a very high quality technical Lycra that will allow the swimsuits to last in time in all their beauty, to be durable. We wanted our collections to be long lasting, not disposable. We are aware that fashion is currently one of the most polluting industries and we don’t want to become part of the problem.
JF: How does it affect your collections to choose this kind of raw material? Giada&Margherita: We are now projecting our fourth collection and each one of them was crafted with the same sustainable Lycra. This is a silver lining as it provides coherence and continuity to our collections, making them timeless and unseasonable. This means that a swimsuit belonging to our ss17 can be worn with one that will belong to ss20 collection. Same aesthetics, same fabric. Fast fashion offers very seasonal and trend related garments that age fast, both for materials and aesthetics. Choosing to stick to this one incredible fabric allows us to avoid this unsustainable mechanism.
JF: What is the impact you have when you choose to use this type of source for a product? Giada&Margherita: In terms of production, the choice of using this kind of recycled material means sustaining the companies -and the people- who work for a much cleaner ocean, for a sustainable way of producing. As they say, by producing that material, “they turn waste problems into fashion solutions”, and we love to actively be part of this philosophy. But the choice of a sustainable fabric is just a part of UND swimwear being sustainable. All our
creative process is focused on building a sustainable brand
Where workers get paid and are appreciated
Not only is this swimwear made from plastic waste, it is also handcrafted in Italy. The Italian label has a thought through process from start to the product is delivered to customers.
The factory producing the Lycra is ISO 14001 certified, which means that their management system must work towards meeting all UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
For the production of the swimwear, UND work with Monica and Marco, and their factory which has 30-years of experience in crafting high-end swimwear. The volumes are low, and the growth of the production-volumes slow.
Und work closely with the artisans and every season they fit their models together with the team, to listen to their feedback and keep the dialog close. The artisan lab is located in Rimini, a small town by the sea in Emilia Romagna, the best known Italian spot for production of swimwear.
Dive a little deeper into the topic of regenerated synthetic fibers
People: What about the microplastics!!? JF: So, this issue with recycled plastic made into new products which are plastic, is a disputed topic. For Just Fashions part, we’ve been reading and following each discussion with our usual nuanced position. We don’t think anything is either or. And we do think than when it comes to swimwear, it is really difficult to use anything else than a stretchy material that can tolerate wear and tear in the sun and salty or chlorinated water. A product that doesn’t sag or use several hours to dry. So we’ve settled with the fact that swimwear in recycled plastic waste is a pretty damn good solution. And of course, quality trumps everything! If it doesn’t last it doesn’t need to exist.
Recycled synthetics may not be the worst starting point for high quality wear. According to the MADE-BY Fiber Benchmark, which considers the whole life of a fiber, the water and energy use, and the lifespan, recycled synthetics are at the top of the chain as one of the fibers with lowest footprint, together with recycled wool and cotton. Sadly MADE-BY lost their funding last year and will not carry forward this independent non-profit index.
We also consider sportswear brand Houdini a label to trust and be guided by. This is a company that we feel closely linked to in philosophy and their Environmental Audits are a study in how to look into and measure every step you take. Read their take on fiber here
For Performance and Leisure Wear we can recommend regenerated synthetic fiber, but from sources and brands that also take care of other parts of their supply chain. We also recommend using a Gruppy Friend bag when you wash your product. To date it is the best way of fetching microplastics from running out into our ocean. The washing machine industry is also catching up, making new filters fetching these tiny particles.
Ingrid Pettersson is a young Norwegian designer based in Oslo. She’s got her education from Oslo National Academy of Arts, and caught our eye the moment we saw her first runway show.
We sat down and had a short talk with Ingrid about her latest drop, two pieces made in original Harris Tweed, made with that extra personal tweak that only Ingrid knows how to do.
JF: Hi Ingrid, we would like you to explain, what kind of raw material is Harris Tweed?
Ingrid: Harris Tweed is a tweed from yarn which is dyed and spun in the Scottish Outer Hebrides and woven by hand in homes of local crofters. Harris Tweed is a truly ecologically sound textile, with low-impact VOC (volatile organic compound) absorbent production process, non-allergenic and biodegradable.
JF: How did you come up with the idea to use this type of material? Ingrid: I wanted to use tweed in several of the looks in my new collection. I got help to source and find an environmentally friendly supplier from Just Fashion. Harris tweed is known for its high quality and I was very happy to find out that they also had a sustainable way of making their fabrics.
JF: So, How does it affect your design to use this type of material? Ingrid: Sometimes it can be hard to find the right suppliers, the fabric stores in Oslo have very little information about the textiles they are selling. Its always easiest to look online, but still it is very helpful to have skilled people to help sort out what is good and what is “bad”.
JF: What is the impact you have when you choose to use this type of source for a product? Ingrid: Every garment will have a longer life and I know that the material is made in a sustainable way, and hopefully the customers will appreciate this. The price is higher, but I think people are starting to understand that we have to choose differently, spend money on quality and not quantity.
Harris Tweed is made of 100% Pure New Wool, dyed, blended, carded, spun, warped, woven, finished, examined and stamped in the Scottish Outer Hebrides by local crofters and artisans.
The weaving process is done in the artisants homes, as the laws outline in the 1993 Harris Tweed Act of Parliament.
At the heart of the Harris Tweed industry lies the relationship between the weavers and the mills. Neither can survive without the other and they are connected through the process of making the tweed. There are also professional wool dyers and blenders, yarn spinners and warpers, cloth finishers and stampers and many more roles in between. They are all part of a slow traditional way of producing.
“The long, barren archipelago on the far north west tip of Europe is home to every dyer, blender, carder, spinner, warper, weaver, finisher and inspector of HARRIS TWEED. No part of the process takes place elsewhere”
Quote Harris Tweed website
Harris Tweed is a handmade fabric, and the only fabric produced in commercial quantities by traditional methods. It was originally developed because it was ideal for protection against the colder climate in the North of Scotland, but that also means today that it is made for longevity, and guarantees the highest quality,
Before finishing it up, it is washed and beated in soda and soapy water, before it is dried, steamed, pressed and cropped to a perfect, flawless condition. The final process is the examination by the independent Harris Tweed Authority, before application of the famous “Orb Trademark” which is ironed on to the reverse of the fabric as the ultimate seal of approval.
Your product is warm in winter and cool in summer. It resists water and wear and tear with ease, cleans easily and can be repaired with the simplest of tools.
The sheep that gave their wool to this fabric lives on the Scottish mainland. In the early summer, the island communities join together to round up and shear the local sheep. Like the whole process of Harris Tweed, this is also done in a slow manner with care for animals.
The wool fabric is also biodegradable and can be composted in a compost bin with other biodegradable materials a long long time from now in the future when they are worn out.
From the beginning, Harris Tweed was coloured with natural dyes, but this process can no longer be carried out, as the vegetation is now protected. The colouring process is still truly ecologically sound, and done with low-impact VOC (volatile organic compound) absorbent production process, it is non-allergenic and biodegradable.
Supporting traditional skills
Harris tweed have been woven for centuries and was originally made by crofters for familial use. The The Orb Trademark was registered in 1910. Each inch of wool is dyed and spun in an island mill and every yard is handwoven in the home of a Harris Tweed weaver. These skills are passed down from generation to generation of the island’s community with pride. When you buy a product made from Harris Tweed, you support a tradition that needs to be aknowledged and continued. You are now supporting low-impact handwoven production methods and true artisans.
This is Grace, the woman behind the label Graciela Huam.
She is born in Peru, but her collections are born in the Netherlands, and then manufactured in her homeland.
We sat down with Grace to have a talk about how her beautiful high quality pieces are made, and we were especially curious about the use of alpaca wool as raw material. For us Norwegians, they are quite dreamy strange and really, really cute animals, so we wanted to know a little bit more about them.
Alpaca wool as raw material
JF: So Grace, what is an Alpaca? Grace: An Alpaca is an animal native to the Andes, where they’ve been domesticated for around 5000 years. They are in the family of the Camel, but don’t have the humps. In addition to Llamas that are also domesticated, you find two wild types, the vicuña and guanaco, who still continue to roam in wild herds today.
There are again two types of Alpacas, one is fluffy with the softest fleece that makes them like a teddy bear. The other grows silky loose fleece in beautiful locks.
The alpacas are sheared once a year, usually in the spring, before the heat of summer begins, to not make them feel uncomfortable. Since the Alpaca is such an excellent insulator, cold winters don’t bother them as long as they have their fur.
JF: What are their features, and what are the qualities that you like best with this animal? Grace:’ For one, they are recognized globally for their soft and luxurious fiber that is lightweight, durable and has excellent thermal qualities.
But something that I like and love about Alpacas is their personality. They are smart, adorable, gentle, calm and pretty social. Many times also nervous, curious, shy and quiet.
JF: How did you end up with the idea to use alpaca wool? Grace: I am Peruvian, and I’ve been working already for more than 5 years in sourcing, and then specializing in alpaca wool and Peruvian cotton. I am pretty passionate about natural resources and my country Peru. I live currently in the Netherlands, now my second home, and my mission is to create a connection between Peru and the Netherlands, bringing together European design with the traditional techniques of knitwear in Peru.
Our choice of raw material is key for the development of this design. With these choices we also support Peru as a supplier and we support the small farmers.
JF: How does it affect your collections and what is the impact you have when you choose this type of source for a product?
Grace: By choosing the way we do, our customers will find collections that are built on the unique combination of superb quality, innovative craftsmanship, sustainable lifestyle and traditional techniques.
We’ve already launched 4 collections with this talented team.
The impact we have is our whole ethical supply chain, but the animal in itself is a really good sustainable choice. A normal alpaca produced 2 to 2,4 Kg of fiber each year, enough to make 4 to 5 sweaters. In comparison, a cashmere goat generally only produces enough wool for 1 sweater a year.
Alpaca fiber is softer, lighter and stronger than cashmere and sheep wool, and it doesn’t feel prickly against the skin. It is also lanolin free, unlike sheep wool, which means that it holds less allergens, bacteria and dust. Also, there are 22 different natural colours, ranging from white, grey and brown to black, which means less dying of yarn.
What’s the difference between Organic and commercial silk?
First of all, the difference between the two is not that big, but the result of choosing one over the other makes a difference. The process is almost the same, but the scale of which they are produced and what is put into the production is not.
Silk is one of the oldest fibers we know of and has its origin from China, around 2600 BC. The cultivation of silkworms in order to produce silk is called sericulture. The first step in the production is called “hatching the eggs”. During this stage, silkworms lay eggs in an artificial environment with the aim of getting them to lay as many eggs as possible. The female produces around 300 tot 400 eggs at the time. The silkworm dies right after laying these eggs. After 10 days, the eggs hatch into larvae (caterpillars), and the feeding period starts.
During the feeding period in commerical silk production the larvae is fed mulberry leaves (results in the finest silk) and grow very fast. They eat around 50.000 times of their initial weight. In approximately 6 weeks, the larvae are 10.000 times heavier than at the time of hatching, and ready to spin a silk cocoon. The silkworm needs around 3 till 8 days to spin a cocoon, thereby producing one kilometer of silk filament.
Organic silk has more or less the same processing as conventional silk here, but no pesticides, insecticides or harsh chemicals have been used to make land or larva grow faster. The silkworms get a more varied diet instead of mulberry leafs alone, and everything is organic.
When the coooon is ready, it is treated with boiling water or hot air and the silk filaments are unwounded again, getting soft by the heat, which is called “reeling the filament”.
In nature, at this point, the silkworm (e.g. chrysalis) would break out of the cocoon and become a moth. However, this would damage the silk fibers, and therefore the chrysalis is killed before the thread is collected from the cocoon.
The process in organic silk production and commercial production is more or less the same in the stage where the silkthread is collected. There is still no way of keeping the thread in one piece and make the moth survive.
One cocoon contains only a small amount of silk and around 2500 silkworms are needed in order to produce one pound of raw silk. Silk amounts to only a very small percentage of the total textile fiber market, even less than 0.2%. Organic silk is then again a marginal percentage of this. The production is small and controlled, thus also creates a smaller amount of raw material.
Organic silk still kills the silk worm to get one length of thread. If you want silk where the silk work leaves the cocoon before the thread is collected, you need to look at Peace Silk/Wild silk. Here the fabric has structure and is stiffer than traditional silk.
Organic silk is not produced in the same volumes as commercial silk. The process is longer and there are no chemicals used in any step of the production.
Tallin-based jewelry brand, collecting its inspiration from nature’s pure lines and having a contemporary fresh take on jewel crafting.
JF started working with Hyrv spring 2018. We met in our common love for simple, elegant and classic design that lives on forever (and is even handed down through generations), and of course in our common denominator; sustainable and well thought through processes.
Since then we’ve seen Hyrv grow and gaining new followers. They are consistent in the way they build their universe, and we couldn’t be more proud to work with designer Kateryna and her team.
All of Hyrvs collections are made in their studio in Harjumaa, Tallin, Estonia. The team uses a combination of handcraft and 3D printing, but also do customization and special customer-collaborations.
The workshop has 3 workers and some part time freelancers when orders are larger. The facility holds a high standard when it comes to both worker and environmental guidelines.
Hyrv only use recycled silver, natural stones and other natural materials in their collections. For polishing or matting silver surface they use walnut shells or other organic fillers. Artisanal methods are implemented in every collection, and they use non-toxic and low energy sources. E.g. the use of 3D printing increase efficiency, use less energy than other methods, and is a significant way of reducing unwanted waste.
Hyrv decided early on to not use any synthetic inserts, packaging or exhibition displays (for storefronts) that could be harmful to the environment. They only use natural and recycled material for their displays and packaging, like the 3D printed wood plates and the recycled cotton and paper bags and boxes. It is both 100% recycled and recyclable.
Founder and designer
The driving force behind Hyrv is founder and Creative Director Kateryna Pishon. She was born in Tallinn and got her BA in Jewellery Design from Estonian Academy of Arts. After polishing her skills at Antwerp Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten (The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp), she worked in a New York’s jewelry company. This combination of experiences gave her the base she needed to start up Hyrv in 2012. She then felt confident that the time was right to experiment with a variety of ideas, materials, processes and techniques.
“I design for modern, young people with a varied day. I want to design jewelry pieces that are chic and easy to wear, but will also make you stand out.”
Each HEKNE collection carries the colours of a selected bird. This way the label connects each collection to nature and give themselves restrictions that elevates their universe.
Careful in all they do
HEKNE was established in 2013 by Anja Birgitte Daatland Hekne and Siglinde Maria Lunde, two childhood friends. The fall 2016 collection was their first, which also is a testament to the two women’s planning skills, doing every bit of their production with people and planet in mind. Spring 17 they launched their second collection.
Anja has a BA degree in Fashion Design from Ravensbourne College in London and has studied Marketing Management at CPHbusiness in Copenhagen. Siglinde has studied PR and marketing at BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo.
Connected to nature
HEKNE is all about the slow way of producing, and they find their inspiration in the organic harmony of nature. They want to take part in changing the pattern of overconsumption, focusing instead on small classic collections which can, both in quality and cut, last more than one season.
Early fall 17 Hekne updated their universe with two classics, off course built with organic and recycled materials, and every bit produced under organized and good conditions in a small factoriy in Lithuania. The two-piece capsule is inspired by the Mallard
Kimono dress from Elsien Gringhuis. Isn’t it nice when something can be worn several ways? This one can. Opening in front or opening in back? Feel the mood and choose based on that. Good large pocket to dig your hands into. Customize size if you need to or choose one of the pre-set sizes.
2. The Shoes
Lemon Zest pumps from Guava. These are for showing of and probably (if you are not an extremely skilled heel-walker demands bicycle or taxi. But what are great show-off shoes like these without the specialized constructed heel from Guava? It is the icing on the cake and what makes them really 100 % perfect.
3. The Backpack
Backpack with tassels in Dove Pink from Kokosina. Classic and practical, still fashionable and easy to take from day to night. We love the tassel bags, and recommend, if you don’t particularly like this colour; check out the other tasselbags – maybe there is one there for you.
4. The Earrings
The Waterdrop Earrings from A/bareness. Boho to the bone, but does not require an embroidered dress to fit inn. Actually, it goes with almost anything. Bring out your streetwear and match with these babies. Trust us; they have the right kind of bling to them.
5. The socks
Vera Socks from Swedish Stockings. These babies are currently out of stock, but will soon be back, so we add them to the list (it is off course a REASON for them being out of stock – they are bang on this summer for trainers or heels..any shoes). Let us know if you want to be notified when it is back in stock.
Norwegian label Mørck consists of mother and daughter team, Marianne Mørck and Monika Mørck Hauge. Marianne has her background in orthopedics (which is closely related to the body and the individual), and Monika is an educated artist.
Mørck advocates for natural and traditional materials and wish to promote local businesses as well as ethical and sustainable production. They collaborate with tanneries in different countries and spend a great deal of time finding the leather, where the quality and sustainable choice is evident.
To choose goat, reindeer and for the first time FW17, Norwegian lamb leather, is something that makes logistics an important part of the labels collection planning. The dream would be to do the whole process closer to home, but for now this is impossible. It is a true evidence of the labels sustainable core, that they do not choose the easiest route, but instead make sure each product is made with the right type of leather.
Small concise collections
Mørck combines these ancient material traditions with modern design and solid craftsmanship. Through the acknowledgement of the inherent qualities of natural materials, clothes with durability and patina are created. Leather from salmon and reindeer is by nature a limited resource. There are practical limits for manufacture. Consequently, the collections by Mørck will inevitably be small and exclusive.
Mørck Stitching only use leather from livestock animals that have free range of movement and from farmers treating animals with respect when it comes to protection, breeding and health.
Salmon and reindeer were important factors of survival for the early settlers in the north thousands of years ago. They provided food. They provided clothing. Towards the end of the Stone Age, the goat gradually became important for people’s livelihood. Mørck takes up again these traditions by showing that use of the leather can be luxurious, long lasting and of the highest quality.
Just Fashion started working with Elsien Gringhuis a few years back. With our shared core values it was a great meet. Thanks to Skype we are always able to talk directly with designers far away and get a sense of how they work and think on a personal level. This is really important to us.
From this starting point we have seen Elsien grow, building each stone of her business on the same ground principles and keeping her core. Being featured in Italian and German Vogue last year as a design talent to watch was a great confirmation that Elsien manages what we want to show the world; it is possible to be forward thinking and deliver FASHION while still choosing better production methods and raw materials in the process.
Building a book
Elsien’s design is not built on collections and seasons. The design is made much more like books, where each collection brings a new chapter, but all parts of the book are always available. Comparing the collections, you can see the similarities in the style and the design, the colour scheme and the cut of the products, and it is all made to build on each other and be mixed and matched. Elsien always use a shape element in each collection. That way each chapter she produces is stringent and saves fabric in the process.
Elsien’s design principal is completely based on sustainability. Form, function, material and finishing all contribute to designs with a long life span and high quality. Being a sustainable brand is more than using just the best fabrics. All design is built on the No Waste principle, trying to make a result of nearly no waste in the design process. The focus is on highly innovative patterns that reduce the waste to a minimum.
High end fabric quality
Elsien Gringhuis works with wool, cotton, silk and other natural materials bought from trusted retailers in Italy and the Netherlands. The label does their best at finding a balance between being sustainable and being a high-end fashion label. Most fabrics are GOTS, BCI and/or Oekotex certified, and the goal is to get all of them certified. The important thing though, is to keep the fabric quality high, so the design will last a lifetime. All items are produce locally in Elsien’s studio, on demand, not made before you order them.
Education and rewards
Cum Laude at the academy of visual arts in Arnhem (ArtEZ).
Won the Createurope in Berlin, the Mittelmoda in Italy and was nominated for the Frans Molenaar-award.
Presented her first collection during the Amsterdam Fashion Week in 2009.
Won the Green Fashion Competition in 2011
Won the Fair Luxury Award in 2012.
“A functional and well thought out design makes me very happy. All good things are simple, but there is nothing more difficult than to make a good and simple design.”
The Norwegian bloggers and advocates for fashion with compassion, Joakim Kleven and Frida Ottesen made this BEAUTIFUL editorial with styles from our store. Take a look! And check out the pages of these talented young stylish people! They are the future and they set the standard for what they want fashion to be! We salute them!
Our cities are full of stores, and 99, 9 % of them are offering us mass-produced design.
For some reason, and we believe it snuck up on us, we’ve all been caught in this illusion that the norm is to be able to shop cheap and fast, without any other concern than the time it takes you to stop by a store. It’s also the norm to be able to do so many times in the course of a really short period. And to experience new collections and sale items every time you stop by. And there is no such thing as a win win when it comes to this multitude of cheap options. The risk is taken by somebody far away that you cannot see.
Just Fashion have worked hard for some time to erase the line between sustainability and fashion. We are tired of the question if it is possible to produce a basic t-shirt in a good way. Of course it is. So our next step is to make people able to stop by and experience our designer stories and touch the quality of each item. We want to become a store in the physical world as well as online.
How can we make it happen?
Even though we’ve grown since we started out, we are still a small startup with great ambition and our heart on our sleeve. So to be able to take the next step and establish ourselves in a physical store, we need your help.
Take a look at our campaign at Bidra.no and support us if you can. We understand that for people living abroad it might seem strange supporting a store that you may never visit. But if you are a fan of Just Fashions universe and our designers and want us all to grow, your support now, big or small, will also affect our online growth. Our gift-program is mainly offering redux cards for our store, but we will also weekly (for 3, 5 weeks from now) add products you can win when supporting us, and also some limited edition items. Follow our Facebook-page for daily info about these added gifts.
Who are the people behind the design?
To read more about the Just Fashion Team, what your support will cover in the establishment of our shop and the current gift run, go to our campaign at Bidra :)
We will not be able to make this happen without your help, please support us :)
We must admit it; there has been a gloom and kind of a pessimistic feel in our office. Even though we are a company believing in the power of good choices, and have a general large degree of optimism, we have still been quite discouraged in regards to why the industry can’t make the BIG changes that needs to be done.
No matter how hard one works, things take time. A loong time. And no matter how much we want the world to change, we need the big businesses to want to change too, the changes that changes everything faster.
But the last few months, our hopes have been growing. The world IS changing and we hope that it is a staying change. When reading the textile business news from all over the world, we are getting positive, and want to share it with you. This is the first story of why 2016 makes us smile.
One of the main goals is to bridge the gap between global retailers, domestic micro businesses and SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises), to strengthen local supply chains and promote sustainable growth.
The two initiators are renovating a former Victorian cotton mill, and combining it with cutting-edge technology, to start production of luxury yarn. English Fine Cotton, which today makes material for bulletproof vests at Tame Valley Mill, Dukinfield, is to produce luxury yarn at neighbouring Tower Mill. This way, British cotton is to be spun at home for the first time in a generation. The last time Tower Mill had cotton production was in 1955.
The plan is to be re-starting cotton spinning in the UK mid-2016, and it will by then be one of the most advanced cotton spinning plants in the world, with the latest in loom technology.
The Mill is not meant to compete with mass production of China, South East Asia or India. It will be a “high end” quality product, produced with luxury cotton from Barbados (Sea Island). The same cotton that Ian Fleming specified James Bond’s shirts were made of, and the ones Daniel Craig wore in the Bond movies.
“We are almost vertical as a company and the only thing we don’t buy in the UK is cotton, which I would very much like to do. The project could hopefully utilize the abundant skills base for textile manufacturing in the UK, as we remain exceptional as a country in specialist manufacturing. From cotton spinning to pattern cutting – the skills are there to make in Britain.”
British shirt-maker Emma Willis (makes the shirts for Daniel Craig’s James Bond)
Cotton was an important product during the Industrial Revolution. The mechanization of the spinning process in the early factories was instrumental in the growth of the machine tool industry, enabling the construction of larger cotton mills.
The biggest cotton producer in the world
Britain used to be the biggest cotton cloth producer in the world. The mechanized spinning and weaving of cotton fiber into fabric began in Britain in the mid-16th century.
Manchester had no cotton mills until 1783. By 1800, there were 42 mills, and the city had become the heart of the cotton manufacturing trade. Mills generated employment, expanded population, and Manchester became a large commercial city.
The number of Manchester cotton mills reached its zenith in 1853 with 108 mills. In total there were 2650 cotton mills in Lancashire by 1860, employing 440 000 people and producing half of the world’s cotton yarn.
Then came the First World War, and cotton could no longer be exported to the foreign markets. The rise of other countries weaving and exporting their own cotton began.
By the 1930s, 800 mills had closed and 345,000 workers had left the industry. Though there was a slight revival after 1945, mills kept on closing down.
During the 1960s and 70s, mills in North West England closed at the rate of one a week in the, with the last one shutting in Greater Manchester in the 1980s.
Modern cotton mills
Modern cotton mills are increasingly automated, mainly built around open end-spinning techniques using rotors or ring-spinning techniques using spindles.
In 2009 there were 202,979,000 ring spinning spindles installed worldwide, with 82% of these being in Asia or Oceania, and 44% being within China. In the same year there were 7,975,000 open end spinning rotors installed, with 44% of these being within Asia or Oceania and 29% within Eastern Europe. Rotors are responsible for 20% of the cotton spun worldwide.
One large mill in Virginia in the United States employs 140 workers in 2013 to produce an output that would have required more than 2,000 workers in 1980.
“A number of times we have had firms coming to us saying they want British cotton. Unfortunately, up until now, we have had to say no. We owe it to the cotton industry – which Manchester was synonymous with – to put it back onto the world stage”
Andy Ogden General manager of English Fine Cotton’s parent company, Culimeta-Saveguard Ltd
“For more than 100 years cotton was the key industry in the various towns making up the borough and indeed the North West of England. The Park Road area of Dukinfield, where Tower Mill is situated, is a corridor of former cotton mills and testament to the hold spinning once had on the region. Webelieve this project shows how (…) effective a little northern grit and common sense can be in achieving successful solutions.”
English Fine Cottons
Quality focused future
It makes us happy that it is possible to focus on high quality in an ever faster moving world. Doing it slowly with attention to details and process, from the raw material to the finished product, that’s what we hope for in the future. When you buy something, it should last and make you happy. It’s the volume and pace that we want to fight.
Lastly, this video that was made by the British Council to counter Nazi propaganda and help promote British cotton to the world, during the Second World War.
The suit is always an investment. Not only does it work dresses up as an ensemble, but also, it is great to wear as separates, as blazer and pants with casual tops, denim, sweatpants etc. Perfect for a casual cool look.
We’ve collected some people who look both flawless and cool in their suits. Stylists, fashion insiders and creative’s with their own style, mixed up with our eco suggestions from our luxury handmade label Kerber. Masculine or feminine, their suits come in mix-and-match models to choose from, and they last a lifetime.
Keep scrolling to see and shop 5 looks that will elevate your wardrobe
Mix masculinity and femininity.
Comfy waist, cropped legs and a longer jacket. Feminine and masculine in one, elevates the feeling of effortlessness. Choose a loose singlet or t-shirt underneath to dress up or down. The keyword is loose.
Our feminine/masculine (conscious) suggestion:
Kerber Comfy Pants, (1.997 NOK (no added expences) Norway /€168 rest of the world)
Kerber Business Jacket (2.979 NOK (no added expences) Norway, €250 rest of the world)
Elevate length with loose legs.
You don’t need to wear a traditional colour to look chick.
Here you se the making of one ring. It is molded into a form an then goes through many stages before it becomes the ring you get when you order.
When the whole process is seen like this, in one, you kind of get the picture of how long it takes. It is also a great way to appreciate the fact that is can still be made like this, slowly with craftsmen and women, getting their pay.
What are your thoughts on the terms “Sustainability” and “Ethical production”?
“Well, it isn’t easy to navigate between all the terms and it is not easy to do better choices either. When I go to the High Street stores and see something with the tag “Made in Bangladesh”, I get a stomachache. The money goes straight to the top of the chain, but even though I know this, it is so easy to choose the more affordable products”.
“You see something you like, and the barrier for buying it is so low. You don’t think about choosing better there and then. You think about your wardrobe, how it will fit in there, and that’s the only thing you have to consider. So I guess these terms gets me thinking about the changes we all are trying to make, but still haven’t managed to do”.
If you should elaborate, how do you choose your wardrobe, and do you regularly repairs and fix things that are broken?
“I often ask myself; Why not choose better? and I’m working on it. It costs more, but in the end, it is likely to be a win to choose quality and something you will love. 6 pants from the high street stores equals maybe one slowly produced high quality pair of pants. And to know something about how it is produced, and that the people that made it, touched it, have been treated well and got their fair share, means something too!”
“You don’t repair pants when the repair costs more than the pants. We are not used to this kind of thinking. The products have so low value that it’s usually not in my mind to think about fixing it. But I do choose better sometimes. I love to go to the small independent stores, both here in Oslo and when I’m traveling. To talk to the people there and get the details and stories behind what I buy. And to see the commitment that goes all the way from the making of the product to the person selling me it. It makes me feel proud and it makes me love what I buy there more than other items. And THESE things I definitely fix if they are broken”.
“With food there’s been a great change the last few years here in Norway towards better production and small independent food-labels, but with clothing it is much more complex. You need to love what you buy in another way. It is connected to your identity. But in the end – like with food – you have to say even though it is hard – I just have to stop eating that and choose something better!”
How do you see the future? What do you think the future holds in regards to production and consume?
“I think we are facing great challenges. I think that for ethical production to become mainstream, they need to get subsidized. To be able to compete with the big chains when it comes to price. But maybe also the change will come no matter what. That it forces itself into our lives”.
Instagram: @miasundsfjord Snapchat:miassen
This is a story about Just Fashion, and a strong woman we have gotten to know during the growth of our site. Johanna and her jewelry label JohannaN, was the fifth label to come onboard Just Fashion. We want you to know what she is up to!
Production in Bangkok
Johanna produce at two production sites in Bangkok, and they have been with her all the way from the start in 2009.
The metal workshops, she knows in and out, and they have grown with her. Tom and Boom are husband and wife-team. They have a small workshop in the first floor of their house in the middle of Bangkok. Tom is sawing all the pieces and Boom is managing their orders, checks the quality, and puts on chains before dispatch to Sweden.
They are setting their own price on their work and that’s what Johanna pay them – done deal. Johanna can now ensure them full time work – which I bet feels great!
Since Johanna has been growing a lot the last years, she now also works with a second and third family workshop, Joi and his wife Nok, and Cha and his wife Joi.
In addition she also works closely with Boy, her creative collaborator in Bangkok and he communicate with all teams and takes care of the logistics.
Watch this short film showing the handsawing in the workshop
The bigger factory that does the casting is family owned with around 60 workers. The last visit to this factory was in February 2014. This factory is also located in Bangkok, and will be a focus in January when Johanna is going back to Thailand.
The raw material
There are large deposits of zinc and copper in Thailand. These metals are combined to form brass, which is a traditional material, used in the Buddha figures and in many religious ornaments and sculptures.
This tradition means that there are people with knowledge about the old way of doing the sawing and casting process that can be given work. Over time, generations of creative artisans built a tradition of craftsmanship around brass – a craft tradition that today only exists in a few places in the world (Abareness also uses these skills in their jewelry workshop in Nepal)
It’s been a pain in the ass to try to track the raw material. With gold and silver, there are a lot happening in the world in regards to sourcing, but with brass, the doors are still closed and there is no tradition for these kinds of investigations. One believes that around 70 % of all brass around is already recycled, but we would of course like to know where OUR (our designers) brass is from. This is an ongoing process, if you are a brass wiz and want to share, let us know!!
Can a business have a personal moral?
Yes, we do believe they can!
There are so many people who are skeptical to the concept of ethical fashion. It is such a wide term, and also difficult to grasp and to see something else than a trend in it. Well, it is in these meetings with our designers, by knowing them, that all doubt about their intentions is washed away. With JohannaN, I have been sure from the start.
She has walked the hardest way, to make her brand sustainable, and now she has come full circle in so many ways. The things that are still difficult to change are really difficult to change!!! Its complicated, sitting in Sweden, trying to get access to the details around the production, not because things are secret, but because there are no tradition for these kinds of investigations in Thailand.
To manage to make a lasting change, it is essential for our designers and us to understand the culture in the country in which we operate. To make room for dialog that can stretch over time, so there are no misunderstandings.
It is about knowing peoples cultural habits, and making them understand that you want to get under their skin, working WITH them, not having hidden agendas and papers with small writing on them. And this goes both ways.
The skepticism is often grounded in fear of prices being forced down, or fair of losing the order completely, or that somebody will force changes on them that makes the production difficult. They can be scared that questions are about taking something away from them, like they may have experienced before.
In January, Johanna is going back to Thailand to visit the workshop and the factory. We are going to be with her on her journey through films, stories and pictures. The thing with great designers with good intentions is that it never stops. It’s not about either or, it is about the journey and the choices one makes along the way.
And remember, , if you buy your JohannaN products at Just Fashion, you support both of us in our work towards a sustainable future!
From time to time, we share your pictures. Nothing makes us more happy than to see our designers pieces in use, on conscious people, out there in the world. Tag your picture with #myjustfashionstory if you want it to ne easier for us to find you:)
“People need clothes that are cool AND ethical. People need to know that there are designers with a conscience out there. People need to learn how to value and keep their clothes. It all starts with transparancy”
“We have the power in each and every purchase we do. By bying clothes from designers who really work the right way, you will give the world a bump in a better direction. Quality beats quantity any day! Products are so much more than products”